The myth of the Holy Grail is embedded in our culture – the sacred Christian treasure, and the mystery of where it disappeared to (or even if it existed in the first place, as many historians believe it is simply a legend), has fascinated us for so long that it has now even become a turn of phrase signifying the greatest search. It’s found in everything from the Grail romances to Dan Brown (even if, in the latter case, as ‘the royal blood’, rather than an actual cup).
But is it possible that the legendary religious treasure does exist? The short video below, posted by the Smithsonian Museum, discusses the research of Spanish historian Marguerita Torres, who may have found out where the cup went after it disappeared from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 909 AD. In a medieval text found in a library in Egypt, Torres discovered that 150 years after going missing – possibly looted during 11th century troubles in the Holy Land – the Grail may have made its way into the hands of a Spanish king:
The text tells the story of a Muslim entourage giving the cup to a king in Spain – the King of Leon, Ferdinand the Great. But if the cup was looted, why would it then be handed to a Christian king in Spain? In 1055, Spain was divided. Muslims rule the south, and Christians the north. Leon is the most powerful Christian kingdom. And its king, Ferdinand, is looking to push south, into Muslim kingdoms. The document reveals that a Muslim ruler…gave the cup of Christ to King Ferdinand in a bid to prevent any possible invasion.
From this evidence, Marguerita Torres believes she has identified the Holy Grail: the goblet of the Infanta Doña Urraca, found in the museum of the Basilica of San Isidoro in Leon, Spain. Historians disagree. But if you’re interested in hearing more about Torres’ argument, check out her book Kings of the Grail: Tracing the Historic Journey of the Cup of Christ from Jerusalem to Modern-Day Spain (Amazon US/Amazon UK).